viernes, agosto 18, 2006

Yesterday night all started at 6pm, when I met Percy in Mauerpark. Damn it, how I hate to write this story in English, but unfortunately, I’m still using this laptop without the Spanish symbols. Anyway, like I said we met at 6pm at the park. I had only 2 euros, I didn’t bring my wallet cause I have 30 euros for my trip to Italy and that’s it. So we went to the supermarket, Kaisers, and bought a four-pack beer each of the cheapest beer available, Sternburg. The price: 1.72 euros each four-pack.

We drank the beers at the park, while listening to a band that was playing next to us. There were lots of people. It was a sunny day and when the sun comes out everybody goes out almost desperately. There aren’t many warm days so people try to make the best of those days. It is as if you have to live more during the summer, do more things, so that you feel that the summer is longer than the winter. In fact, I think it works, time is relative anyway. If you have lots of experiences during the summer and not so many during the winter you get the feeling that the summer is longer than the winter. But actually the summer lasts around 3 months and the rest of the year is pretty much cold.

But ok, we were having these beers at the park, which had a particularly nice atmosphere yesterday. People playing music, having picnics, at the beach bars, etc. By the way, before yesterday I saw a guy playing “cajon” at the park and we had a very interesting conversation about this musical instrument, its history and potentialities. This park, Mauerpark, used to be divided by the Berlin wall. Mauer means wall, so it would be translated something like the park of the wall. Now this park is full of alternative people and has a very strong energy.

So we met with some friends of Percy at the park. We played frisby and talked for an hour or so. The beer bottles were already empty so we started to collect our cents to see if we could buy another one together. We were missing 10 cents, the supermarket was already close so we had to buy in a grocery shop, where the beer costs 70 cents. Expensive, but at least it is a cold beer. I decided to pick a couple of empty bottles. Each bottle is worth 8 cents for the deposit, so 2 were enough. We paid with 60 cents and two empty bottles and even got change. Mmm, that made me wonder.

You can already imagine what happened after we finished that beer. I decided to find out how difficult was to get empty bottles in the street. I mean, why not? So one of those stories started at that moment. I was walking along the street with Percy looking for bottles and putting them in my rucksack. Nine bottles are worth 1 beer, so that was the goal. It took around 10 minutes to find 9 bottles. People leave many bottles in the street but there is also competition.

We met other people picking up bottles and had short conversations over a beer. Some were really professionals. They go out with big bags and know very well where to find the bottles. They told us that we should go to the park, that’s were the good stuff is. But we were having fun and didn’t want to bother going to the park and wasting lots of time picking beers. The streets were good enough for us.

Outside a grocery shop, we met a guy who is a cook in a fancy Jewish restaurant. He even gave us his business card. We had a conversation about food and cooking, which is probably my favorite topic in a conversation. Before going back home this guy invited us two beers. Great! So the night was being really good considering that it all started with 2 euros.

We kept looking for bottles. I decided to go inside an alternative bar where I go very often and see if I could get some empty bottles. This was a new adventure. I asked some people if I could take their bottles, as if I worked at the place, and they said, for sure, do. Mmm, goal!!! Percy couldn’t believe it. He kept saying, what the fuck are we doing? It was so funny. We were paying our beers with empty bottles form bars and the street. Our bag was always full of beers.

At the bar they probably realized that I was getting the empty bottles, but I guess they didn’t care. I mean, it is not like I was ruining their business or something like that. And I go there very often to have a beer, almost every day, so the locals should have those types of privileges, hehe. It is also a very alternative bar…and ultimately, this is Berlin.

We met all sort of people while picking up beers. I came across a Mexican friend who was sitting in a bench and gave me some empty bottles. There is another story with this guy. A couple of weeks ago I saw him having sex with a Spanish girl in my room. Yeah, that night I went to the 25 bar, one of the craziest bars in Berlin, and after they closed I met some people in the street, it was already 10 am maybe. We started to talk and walk with our bikes and beers looking for another party. We walked for a couple of hours and somehow we ended up going to my place and cooked paella.

We were with some Spanish guys, Nico, this Mexican friend, a French, a Turkish, a Russian. Every possible language. We really had a blast and stayed talking until the afternoon. Really cool people. I slept in a hammock. When I woke up I went to my room and saw my friend having sex with a Spanish girl, hehehe, bizarre. I closed the door. But I needed my wallet so I knocked and came in. They were totally cool, we even had a short conversation. It was kinda bizarre though, to talk to them while they were naked after sex, heheh.

Anyway, while picking up beers I also met a group of Spanish and Italians looking for a party. We had a beer with them. Then I met a guy from Italy who was playing the guitar in the street. He played and I sang. Then I played some guitar and he sang. And so on…At some point the grocery shops closed and it was not possible to get money from the bottles. But then I found a small restaurant and asked if I could get the deposit for some bottles and they said it was ok. So again…

Yesterday night the street provided the party, the “pacha mama”. I might do that again, who knows. Now I gotta start packing. I’m going to Frankfurt tonight. The day looks sunny and nice.

domingo, agosto 13, 2006

Na ja…

Ok, so I guess I should write something. I write in English this time cause I can’t use Spanish accents with this laptop and mine for some reason doesn’t start. It might be on vacation like everyone Berlin: my boss, the priests, NGOs’ staff, squatters, etc. I know that very well cause I’m broke and I’ve tried to contact them for clothes, food, housing and, in general, for help!!! But they are gone. So, I decided I’m going on vacation too.

Originally I wanted to go biking with Nico (my Italian friend and roommate) to Poland, but it's already getting cold and I need a visa to go to Poland, which means money and time. Then we thought Denmark cause I don’t need a visa to go there, but some small towns in the Brandenburg region, which is on the way, are kinda neo-nazis, and we both look very much like immigrants. In fact, I have the Latino passport in my face, like we say in Spanish.

So we decided not to make this biking trip. Instead, we planed to go to southern Italy and visit Nico’s family, friends, and the towns in the area. We go next week to Frankfurt, stay a couple of days there and then catch a plane to Rome. Once in Rome we will see what we do but always going to the south and with not so much money. Probably we will try to sell some t-shirts. So that is the idea. We will stay 11 days in Italy and then come back to Berlin from Rome.

Last week wasn’t really excited. I mean, after the chaos from the previous weeks things couldn’t get crazier. I’m living now with Nico and Dane. Half of the week I spend in Neuköln with Nico and the other half in Prenzlauer Berg with Dane. I do my groceries in Neuköln, cause it's cheaper and go out clubbing in Prenzlauer Berg, cause it's fancier, hehe. Not bad. But, anyway, I really can’t wait to start my PhD on October, start getting money, working and sorting out my life in Berlin, finally, after almost 2 years.

I mean, the last 2 years have been full of adventures: Canada’s farewell, USA, Italy, Spain, Germany, I got deported from Germany, I sued the state, won and came back…I’ve lived in so many different houses, sofas, mattresses, and sleeping bags. But now I’m kinda tired. So I’m glad I’ll have a more regular life starting October. In fact I’m already back in the system.

Last week I got a permit to stay two more years in Germany, a health insurance and I registered in Prenzlauer Berg’s city hall. I’m a visible human being again, which means I can enjoy some new benefits and I have to deal with some new responsibilities. In practice, I have to do lots of paperwork, spend money and the system gives me access to its institutions (banking system, workplaces, health, education and migration institutions, those sort of things). I’m back in the system after living “illegally” for 1 year in Berlin. I’m happy about it but the romanticism of living at the margin is also lost. I’m again part of the data, hehe.

Well, yesterday I went to this electronic and reggae music festival, Planet Pro Berlin ( Like the Love Parade it took place in the 17th June Street. I didn’t really want to go cause I was tired and had a whole chicken in my rucksack. I bought a chicken in Neuköln before going to Prenzlauer Berg cause things in Neuköln are much cheaper, like I said before. So yesterday I cooked Peruvian (“lomo saltado”) at Nico’s and after I bought this chicken at the Turkish. I was tired cause I worked in the morning cleaning a house (working black). By the way, yesterday the family who I help cleaning this house asked me to help them with their computer, internet stuff. I did and they were very thankful. They didn’t pay me extra for that though, hehe…no need, my pleasure, really. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that I went to this festival cause Dane really wanted to see it. The festival was ok but nothing spectacular, or maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood.

Gotta go now, going to cook that chicken. Viel spaß.